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Old 12-22-2011, 09:24 PM   #1
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Default First lager: pitching rate seems insane?!

so i found Denny's Evil Czech Pilsner recipe and am going to try a pils on xmas eve... went to the LHBS and grabbed the grain for a 6 gal batch and a wyeast smack pack, i planned on making a starter like i always do for ales.

so i get back to the house and hit the mr malty pitching calculator, and it says 26 packs without a starter and 9 with?!?!?! is this seriously right? how can anyone afford to make lagers?!

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Old 12-22-2011, 09:30 PM   #2
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Just step up your starter. And this is where a stir plate really comes in handy!!!

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Old 12-22-2011, 09:39 PM   #3
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My first lager I way under pitched and it was probably one of the best lagers I have ever tried. My last 2 I made the proper size starter and they too were great. I definitely think that proper pitching rates will help the beer ferment how it should and won't stress the yeast. Less chances of off flavors and should help it finish where it should.

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Old 12-22-2011, 09:48 PM   #4
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JZ's book Yeast says on page 144-145 that if i run a 2L starter it will double my lager yeast to 200 billion, but if i then chill/decant and add more wort it will not double again because of the inoculation rate, and i'll only get another 100 billion, topping me out at 300 billion cells.

guess i should go get another packet and double pitch my starter... that should get me to about where i need to be.

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Old 12-22-2011, 10:21 PM   #5
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I have never put faith in those calculators for homebrewing purposes. With such low volumes of beer it is impossible to pitch "the correct" amount of yeast.

Make a starter from a vial or smack pack the day before, aerate well, and pitch it.... If the vial or smack pack is older, make the starter a couple days ahead of time.

It will be great.

You will see that yeast is an adaptable little critter and will do well fermenting your beer--that will be tasty.

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Old 12-22-2011, 10:23 PM   #6
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See all the the threads titled "72 hours, no activity, help!" and the like? More than likely, they were underpitched lagers. The two best things you can do for your lagers, assuming temperature control, is pitch the right amount of yeast and oxygenate.

And then wait.

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Old 12-22-2011, 10:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewBrewTheGreat View Post
With such low volumes of beer it is impossible to pitch "the correct" amount of yeast.
I'd love to see you tell the guys around here with hemocytomers that its impossible to pitch the right amount of yeast. And while that may be unreasonable for most homebrewers, its most certainly possible to get closer to the correct amount than, "Just make some sort of starter and pitch that!"
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Old 12-22-2011, 10:30 PM   #8
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running back to the LHBS to get another pack and a stir bar (can't find mine after the move!)... then time to fire up a starter for saturday

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Old 12-22-2011, 11:02 PM   #9
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Check the Production Date field on MrMalty. If you've ever made a modification and hit the Save Settings button, one of those settings is the date, and you will need to modify the Production Date every time after that. I suspect that the calculator thinks your yeast is 99% dead.

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Old 12-22-2011, 11:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rundownhouse View Post
I'd love to see you tell the guys around here with hemocytomers that its impossible to pitch the right amount of yeast. And while that may be unreasonable for most homebrewers, its most certainly possible to get closer to the correct amount than, "Just make some sort of starter and pitch that!"
Look. Geek out all you want. Spend your time counting yeast cells. Boring, stupid, waste of time and money. I have done enough of it (they had to pay me to do so). It is totally unnecessary and will not make better homebrew beer--> except in your mind. The homebrew shop will appreciate you buying the extra yeast and/or equipment. The "experts" will appreciate you buying their books telling you to do so.

There is no "correct amount." Just like there is no correct brewing method.

Telling someone newer to brewing that they have to use "Mr. Malty" or their beer will turn out bad is asinine.

Pitch an active starter, begun from a vile or smack pack, and you will make good beer.
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